Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Little Christmas cheer for victims of family violence

    7/12/2019 10:00 AM
     
    • Festive period associated with an annual spike in domestic violence incidents
    • Western Australians experiencing family violence during festive season urged to contact authorities and support services
    • 16 Days in WA campaign encourages people to speak out to stop violence against women and children

    As the festive season approaches, the McGowan Government is urging Western Australians who experience family or domestic violence to seek help.

     

    Tragically, the Christmas and New Year period is typically characterised by a spike in family violence incidents.

     

    New figures from WA Police show a sharp rise in reported family violence incidents during the 2018-19 Christmas-New Year period, when compared to the daily average.

     

    The annual festive season increase in reported family violence incidents unfortunately means Christmas can be a time of fear for many.

     

    The figures do show a 2.9 per cent decrease in the number of reported tasks logged for police attendance last Christmas-New Year when compared to the 2017-18 festive period.

     

    WA Police figures from the 2018-19 Christmas-New Year period show:

     

    • the daily average number of family violence-related tasks was 227, compared to an average of 180 across the entire year (an increase of 26.1 per cent);
    • 156 family violence-related incidents were investigated by police each day on average, compared to the whole-of-year average of 130 (an increase of 20 per cent);
    • the daily average number of police orders issued to protect victims was 77, compared to a daily average of 61 for the rest of the year (up 26.2 per cent); and
    • each day, there was an average of 70 incidents in which children were exposed to family violence, compared to an average of 59 for the entire year (an 18.6 per cent increase).

    The data has been released as part of the 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which aims to raise awareness about how family and domestic violence occurs, and who it impacts.

     

    16 Days in WA began on November 25 - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - and ends on December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

     

    Further information and 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women resources can be found at: https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/projects/16-days-in-wa/

     

    Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:

     

    "It's a devastating reality that, as most Western Australians celebrate and enjoy the festive season, incidents of family and domestic violence increase.

     

    "Violence against women is unacceptable and it is vital that victims of violence can reach out for help when they need it.

     

    "While I hope the small decrease in reported incidents since the 2017-18 Christmas period marks a turning point for Western Australia, it could also mean that less people are reporting.

     

    "The theme of this year's 16 Days in WA campaign is 'speak out' and I encourage everyone to call out inappropriate behaviour against women, so victims know they are going to be believed and supported when they come forward to report."

     

    Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:

     

    "Christmas is a time when families come together.

     

    "Unfortunately it's also a time when we know there is a spike in family and domestic violence incidents.

     

    "I know there can be frustrations and I know that there can be arguments, but there doesn't have to be violence.

     

    "Police are on duty over Christmas and the New Year, so if you witness domestic violence, or are a victim of it, don't suffer in silence, say something, the Police will be there."

     

    Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600

    Police Minister's office – 6552 6900

    Women's Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 007 339

    Men's Domestic Violence Helpline - 1800 000 599

    1800 RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.